Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Coffee on the Wall


--by Rajni, posted Mar 31, 2013
I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighboring town of Venice, the city of lights and water. As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat on an empty table beside us.

He called the waiter and placed his order saying, Two cups of coffee, one of them there on the wall. We heard this order with rather interest and observed that he was served with one cup of coffee but he paid for two. As soon as he left, the waiter pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying A Cup of Coffee.

While we were still there, two other men entered and ordered three cups of coffee, two on the table and one on the wall. They had two cups of coffee but paid for three and left. This time also, the waiter did the same; he pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying, A Cup of Coffee.

It seemed that this gesture was a norm at this place. However, it was something unique and perplexing for us. Since we had nothing to do with the matter, we finished our coffee, paid the bill and left.

After a few days, we again had a chance to go to this coffee shop. While we were enjoying our coffee, a man entered. The way this man was dressed did not match the standard nor the atmosphere of this coffee shop.

Poverty was evident from the looks on his face. As he seated himself, he looked at the wall and said, one cup of coffee from the wall. The waiter served coffee to this man with the customary respect and dignity.

The man had his coffee and left without paying. We were amazed to watch all this when the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall and threw it in the dust bin.

Now it was no surprise for us the matter was very clear. The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town welled up our eyes with tears.

Coffee is not a need of our society neither a necessity of life for us. The point to note is that when we take pleasure in any blessing, maybe we also need to think about those people who appreciate that specific blessing as much as we do but they cannot afford to have it.

Note the character of this waiter, who is playing a consistent and generous role to get the communication going between the affording and the needy with a smile on his face.

Ponder upon this man in need. He enters the coffee shop without having to lower his self-esteem he has no need to ask for a free cup of coffee without asking or knowing about the one who is giving this cup of coffee to him he only looked at the wall, placed an order for himself, enjoyed his coffee and left.

When we analyze this story, along with the other characters, we need to remember the role played by the wall that reflects the generosity and care of the dwellers of this town.

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Readers Comments

Thiet Hoang wrote: Not only is this coffee on the wall a wonderful initiative but it's also an inspiration for other initiatives of a similar nature. In fact, it has served as such for me. Thank you so much!
Swapni jakhete , jalgaon , india wrote: By doing so , will we be making them lazy. When people know that they will get free , they won't work. Right now govt. Is giving wheat and rice @ 2 rs per kg. Because of this workers don't work they keep on taking leaves , whithout pay , as they are not bothered to earn more. They know , that they have enough ration which govt gave @rs 2.
I am of the opinion that instead of giving them fish , we should teach them how to fish.
Mike Oka wrote: Lord have mercy for the many times we had failed to exhibit charity.
MICHAEL OKA wrote: Lord have mercy for the many times we had failed to exhibit charity.
Geetha Madhuri wrote: Very nice
Anagha Dagale wrote: Very beautiful. Loved alot everyone should do this and help the needdy ones through their small gesture of giving. <3
Hung Hoang wrote: A beautiful idea, could the author please give me the name and address of the coffee shop. I will be in venice next 2 weeks , a must stop to enjoy a cup of espresso and most of all to appreciate one of the best best of human cultures. I wish it is a real story.
Shilpi paul wrote: Dear rajni ji, m really very touched by yor story. It makes me think how deautiful it is to help some one with out being noticed. Or how a middle class person can hepl other needi one within staying his or her own limits. It's an amezing aerticle for them who really wants to help without any expectation not even a" salam"
Pradha wrote: Don't mean to brag, but just to share. It is a horrid summer here in india now, and i was out with my son in the heat today. Had some chilled n natural sugarcane juice to cool down.
After getting refreshed i some poor people roaming about and felt bad for them. So i gave the store keeper extra money for 5 glasses of juice and asked him to pass it on to any needy person who may come by.
Surely it is not the same as in the above story, where the needy can themselves ask for a drink without hesitating, but i hope that the shop keeper when faced with someone begging or struggling would remember the bonus he has and refresh someone in need.
Helen wrote: Does anyone know if this is a true story?

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